Cook completes school project

Firec & security co. still leads with fire
Friday, September 1, 2006

NORTH OLMSTEAD, Ohio--Cook Fire and Security recently finished installing a $250,000 addressable smoke detector and fire alarm system in three schools in nearby Conneaut: a renovated high school and new junior high and elementary schools.
The 250-point addressable fire system, made by Honeywell, interfaces with a security and access control system, which Cook also installed.
"In the case of an emergency, all of the doors can be opened," explained Robert Cook, owner of the company.
Nearly 100 percent of Cook's installation work is commercial, from small retail shops to large specialty installations such as a correctional facility he did a couple years ago.
Cook has been in business for 13 years and has four employees. He started out just doing fire, but branched out into security because his customers were requesting it.
Diversifying into security was relatively easy, since there are fewer codes to worry about, he said. The majority of his business, roughly 80 percent, is still in fire, and in Ohio fire codes are adopted locally instead of statewide. Cook cites "keeping up with codes and staying on top of changes" as the number one challenge of his business.
These days, 60 to 75 percent of his overall business, which serves the Northern Ohio market, is generated by service contracts, specifically fire alarm system and extinguisher inspections and service. It helps that his four employees have years of expertise in fire and security, he said. Their experience helps Cook win the big jobs, and enables the company to successfully comply with the codes in different area towns.
And as with many small businesses, the owner and president is working alongside his employees. "I'm out there installing, too," Cook said.